Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, has today (21 February 2022) confirmed a change to its visiting guidance.

As of Monday 21 February, the trust’s visiting guidance will now allow one visitor per patient, to be booked in advance by contacting the nurse in charge of the ward.

If the patient is a child, one parent, guardian or carer will be permitted to stay with them in the hospital while they are an inpatient. This guidance will not impact on the arrangements in place for maternity services where birthing partners are already permitted, or for patients in receipt of palliative or end of life care for whom visitors have been allowed throughout the pandemic.

All visitors are required to do a (negative) lateral flow test on the same day as attending our hospitals. If possible, please bring photo evidence with you of your negative result or a text or email from the national lateral flow reporting service.

For the latest visiting guidance, please click here.

Katie Prichard-Thomas, deputy chief nurse at HHFT, said: “Keeping our patients and staff safe remains our top priority and this updated visiting guidance aims to ensure we continue to be able to do so.

“We understand how important it is for families and friends to stay connected and how difficult it can be when face-to-face visiting isn’t possible. This update, which permits one visitor per patient and allows visitors to return to booking an appointment following completion of a set of COVID-19 screening questions, is focused on striking the right balance.

“It’s important to remember an appointment must be booked in order to attend our sites as a visitor. There are also number of other ways in which loved ones can keep in touch alongside face-to-face visiting, including virtual visiting and our patient messaging service.

“Any visitors who are coming into our hospitals will need to undertake a lateral flow test prior to arrival and are advised that they will be required to wear a surgical mask at all times. It is essential social distancing rules are also followed.”